Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Short Story News, May 2016

To my surprise, things continue to trundle along apace on the short fiction front, at least enough to warrant another post on the subject only a couple of months after the last one.

The most up-to-the-minute development is that my paranoiac science fiction short Team Invasion is now available to read for free in the first issue of new pro 'zine Liminal Stories, along with five other tales.  I've not had the change to read them yet but they all look intriguing, and the accompanying illustrations are fantastic.  Incidentally, one of the nicest back-handed compliments I've received was that my mum was worried to tell me what she thought of Team Invasion because it had disturbed her so much.  I spent a few minutes feeling pleased with myself before I realised that traumatising your mother perhaps isn't an achievement to be proud of.  Still, this one was meant to be all kinds of unsettling. so at the least I got the desired result from one reader.

On the subject of stories coming out, there's also Dancing in the Winter Rooms, which, having already appeared as its own adorable e-book, has since made it into the latest Digital Fiction Publishing anthology, Ctrl Alt Delight.  I know I go on a lot about these (after all, I've been in four of them now, with more on the way!) but they really are excellent, varied collections, at a wholly reasonable price, and I always look forward to digging into them.  For those with catholic sci-fi tastes, they're definitely worth a look.

Of course, I say that having sold another story to Digital - this time, Rindelstein's Monsters, to the fantasy wing - but hey!  And in other sales news, my story Witch House is going to be in the second issue of fairly new, definitely exciting magazine Shattered Prism - which, I only realised after I'd submitted, lives under the umbrella of my C21st Gods publisher Rosarium.  Anyway, Witch House is a slice of (literally) magical realism and a particularly English modern folk tale, though with some larger concerns ticking away in the background.

Perhaps the strangest sale I've made of late, though, was when I got an e-mail out of the blue from the editor of forthcoming anthology Far Orbit: Last Outpost, a book I'd submitted to and been rejected from some months before, asking if my story Risk Assessment was still available.  I'm not sure exactly what happened, but it turns out that the only thing nicer than an acceptance is an acceptance, months later, of a story that's already been rejected.  As the title suggests, we're talking military sci-fi here, though Risk Assessment is a little closer to the parody edge of that genre, which is perhaps why it didn't make the cut the first time around.  At any rate, I remember the precise moment when the idea for this one came to me: it was a health and safety lecture back in my MOD days, a talk so boring that what else was I supposed to do but splice it together in my head with scenes from Starship Troopers?

Last up, the Mysterion anthology - a book I'm really looking forward to, purely because its focus on genre stories drawing upon the weirder aspects of Christian theology is something I've not seen done elsewhere - now has an official table of contents.  After reading on their blog that the editors were receiving an overabundance of stories with one word biblical place name titles, I'm rather proud that Golgotha was the only one to survive the cut!  And, in fairness, I can't imagine this story under any other title.  Anyway, here's the line-up, along with the rather gorgeous cover:

“The Monastic” by Daniel Southwell
“When I Was Dead” by Stephen Case
“Forlorn” by Bret Carter
“Too Poor to Sin” by H. L. Fullerton
“Golgotha” by David Tallerman
“A Lack of Charity” by James Beamon
“Of Thine Impenetrable Spirit” by Robert B. Finegold, MD
“A Good Hoard” by Pauline J. Alama
“Yuri Gagarin Sees God” by J. S. Bangs
“Confinement” by Kenneth Schneyer
“The Angel Hunters” by Christian Leithart
“Cutio” by F. R. Michaels
“St. Roomba’s Gospel” by Rachael K. Jones
“Yuki and the Seven Oni” by  S. Q. Eries
“A Recipe for Rain and Rainbows” by Beth Cato
“This Far Gethsemane” by G. Scott Huggins
“Ascension” by Laurel Amberdine
“Cracked Reflections” by Joanna Michal Hoyt
“The Physics of Faith” by Mike Barretta
“Horologium” by Sarah Ellen Rogers

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